As Ron Perlman aptly puts it at the start of the popular post-apocalyptic RPG series Fallout, "war never changes."
The same can be said for nearly every game set within the confines of war. After all, there are only so many scenarios you can play through before you've seen and played through every pivotal battle in every war ever.
So, it's down to the History Channel licensed game Legends of War to bring something new to the table. Surprisingly, it manages to achieve this without treading on the toes of what's come before.
Patton the back
Legends of War places you in the role of General Patton as he commands his Third Army at the height of World War II.
Having led a successful campaign across France following the events of D-Day and the invasion of Normandy, Patton is now heading for Berlin.
Surprisingly, given that this game is linked to the History Channel, Slitherine has decided that it's still alright to play fast and loose with some historical events in the name of entertainment.
But that's alright. In fact, it's for the best.
While it tells the tale of Patton's advance across Europe, it does so without forcing you into convenient set-pieces or giving you faceless units to command.
Borrowing from the best
To heighten the emotional impact of the war, Slithrine has taken a leaf from XCOM: Enemy Unknown's book and given each soldier a name.
But this doesn't quite work as intended, because you pretty much don't care who's who until you begin to upgrade your units into more specific roles of Paratrooper, Sniper, Bazooka trooper, and so on. Even then, their profile thumbnails are all identical within each class, so it's hard to form a bond.
While History: Legends of War's combat isn't as tight or complex as XCOM's, the tactical side of battles is handled very well. It's great fun to position troops behind cover, popping out to take down Nazi forces as they come into your line of sight. And thanks to a generous and simple movement system, you can plan attacks and then revise them easily on the fly.
It is a little strange that Slitherine hasn't made use of the Vita's touchscreen, which lends itself perfectly to the strategy genre. It's stranger still that it hasn't even factored in the right stick for camera control, instead making it a fiddly procedure with the left stick and shoulder buttons.
That said, it's still a solid and highly enjoyable tactical game that will satisfy almost any urge for some portable historical fun - even if it does lack a much-needed online multiplayer mode.